Miners compensation scandal: Nulty struck off

Andrew Nulty, the lawyer who boasted of his £13m fortune, has been struck off by the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal for his part in the miners’ compensation scandal.

Nulty, who launched Avalon Solicitors in 2001 with 2,000 personal injury claims on his books, is the third lawyer to be kicked out of the profession for his conduct in the compensation scheme, following Jim Beresford and Douglas Smith of Beresford Solicitors (11 December) .

His fellow partner, Malcolm Trotter, was handed a £10,000 fine for his part in the scheme.

Avalon Solicitors first came to national media attention in 2006 when Nulty contacted The Lawyer in 2006 to secure his firm’s inclusion in The Lawyer UK200.

At the 2005-06 year end Avalon brought in £21.2m in fees and made a net profit of £15.5m – a margin of 73 per cent. With just two equity partners, its average profit per equity partner (PEP) was £7.75m, which dwarfed the rest of the UK’s top 100 firms that year.

He told The Lawyer he had decided that after five years of strong growth “the time was now right to start telling people of what we do”.

Nulty took home the lion’s share of the profit, some £13m, with managing partner Anthony Chorlton pocketing around £2.5m. Chorlton was not subject to disciplinary action.

The bulk of Avalon’s turnover, 68 per cent, or £14.4m, came from acting for miners claiming for compensation under the DTI’s ‘Coal Health’ scheme, which closed in March 2004.

The Lawyer understands Nulty has been struck for after the SDT found him guilty of dishonesty. However, he has already parted company with the firm and is no longer a practising lawyer but living in Spain.